Not sure if it’s my olanzapine or PP ... - Action on Postpar...

Action on Postpartum Psychosis

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Not sure if it’s my olanzapine or PP related?

MarBan profile image

I got diagnosed with PP 10 weeks post delivery ( I had 90 hrs delivery and had troubles breastfeeding), I got admitted into general psych ward first then moved to mother and baby unit, I was very confused and not accepting the diagnosis. The staff were very harsh and I felt as though no one sympathiesed with me. I was delusional that it was end of the world and I was worried my daughter will be taken away from me if I don’t prove to them that I’m a good mum. I started on olanzpine 10 mg which I felt jittery and terrible, I’m now reduced to olanzapine 2.5 mg but I still don’t feel quite myself. I had low mood and now I started get anxious about going out. I wake up everyday and don’t want to live it, I’m finding it hard to connect with my baby, I feel empty and a lack of emotions. Nothing excites me, I feel emotionally numb. Would like to know if I’ll ever feel normal again. I am on maternity leave till august and I can’t see myself going back to work with what I’m going through, my job is very demanding and requires lots of driving and communication skills. I need some positivity and support please

12 Replies
Naomi_at_app profile image

Hi MarBan

Thanks so much for posting and reaching out to us here at APP for support. I am so sorry to hear that you are struggling now at home with anxiety and low mood, and finding day to day life with your baby so hard. Many mums do find they go through a time of anxiety and depression after PP, and still go on to make a full recovery. So I wanted to reassure you that although it's so hard right now you will be OK, and you will find your way through this and discover strength and resilience that you will be amazed by when you look back.

Back in 2005, I had a long period of depression after PP with my daughter. It definitely took time, support from my family, medication and gradually starting to do activities out and about with my baby that slowly rebuilt my confidence. Go gently with yourself, you are doing so well to have reached out for support and encouragement.

I thought it might be helpful to share this link for the APP Recovery Guide which gives lots of practical tips and other people's experiences of recovery.

I also wondered if you have any support from a specialist perinatal mental health team at the moment? If you can share how you are feeling with them, or with your GP it can often help a lot - and some areas of the UK have parent-infant psychology services where you can be supported in bonding with your baby through 1-1 time with a psychologist.

Keep reaching out to us here at APP - there are so many mums and families here on the forum who can encourage you with their stories of recovery, and support you as you go through this hard stage.

Warm wishes,


Twobabies profile image

Dear MarBan, I’m really glad you wrote on the forum , it’s a great place to connect with loads of mums who have been through the living hell of Ppp and come out the other end back to a happy well life. I’m a postpartum psychosis recovered mum of twins. Im sorry to hear your struggling, I hear you. I can relate to that numb feeling from when I was recovering. I’m not sure about what’s meds what’s recovery so maybe speak to your team about how you feeling. You’ve been through such a massive trauma it’s understandable you are not feeling fully back yet But you will recover! You will get better and back to your bright self. I remember in the early days after I got home from hospital I felt I struggled to have a conversation , I felt delayed in thought and so slow, but thankfully as time went on I came back! And am so much clearer thinking now. I also couldn’t imagine working but again I am. If you feel you want/ need more time you could always speak to your employer about getting compassionate or similar leave until you feel ready? There is absolutely hope and you are already on the journey to recovery and wellness even though you might not feel it right now. Go easy on yourself. It’s also been lockdown and lots of things cancelled that would have been for new mums but things are starting to open up, would there be anything you might fancy that you could do with other mums? Could you arrange some time for yourself too? What could you do for self care? It’s so important to factor in your needs. Sending lots of hugs to you. It will get better. Xx

I feel for you! Hope you have lots of good support.

I remember feeling emotionally numb and I thought it was the olanzapine. Talk to your doctors/care coordinators about how you are feeling and if you’re not ready to return to work after your maternity leave then don’t stress too much yet but again it’s something that can be discussed with your doctors

Take care

Hi MarBanIf you dont feel positive about going back to work you can take sick leave until you feel ready.

I found for my daughter it was the case that going back to work although very stressful can be a positive turning point. She reduced her hours down to half and did a phased return over a period of a few weeks and could even use her holiday to extend this time. May be this could be an option for you. Ocupational health were very supportive, perhaps you could speak to them.

I think for my daughter, work even though she is in a high powered stressful job turned out to be the best thing for her and its perhaps helped her find a bit of a connection to her former self.

Of couse we are all different and if you feel something is not right for you and causes too much stress then you just have to decide as you go along.

HelenMW profile image

Hello MarBanI am so glad you have found this site. You will be encouraged by the knowledge that others have been just where you are and have recovered.

I was sorry to read you had such a long traumatic labour. I had a very difficult delivery and became unwell 5 days later and went first to the general hospital and then I was moved to a psychiatric hospital. Back then there were no Mother and Baby Units.

I cannot comment on the medication side of things. My PP was 33 years ago and I was on a medication that I dont think is used any longer as they have made advances with medication. The good news is that I did recover and even went on to have two more children without PP. I am now a Grandma which is wonderful! I took medication for a year following recovery but again, I am not sure if they use the same medication now.

Do talk about how you feel as I think the medication side of things is a fine balance and once they have it right you will begin to feel better. One day at a time.

I had similar delusions and thought processes. It is reassuring to know that we often have very similar feelings, emotions and sometimes delusions. There is such a wealth of experience on this site and you can know you are not alone. It just takes time to heal and recover. I hope you are able to make time for simple things. I find just a walk can help. Meeting up with a friend. Looking after yourself.

Sending very best wishes for your recovery. Helen

Hi MarBan! it’s very often that PP is followed by depression. It’s worth talking to a good psychiatrist and considering taking some antidepressants along with olanzapine. And it will get better anyway in about a year. But it’s a long road. So sorry for you. Big hug.

AlexandraJay profile image

Hello MarBan,

Very sorry to hear you are feeling this way. I know it isn't easy as I experienced PP twice and I found it took a long time to recover fully. You are on the road to recovery and time heals all wounds. I took Sertraline to help me feel better whilst I was feeling very low and numb. Your dose of Olanzipine seems very small so maybe think about introducing an anti- depressant. I'd recommend speaking to a Doctor about this. I didn't want to rely on medication but looking back they really helped me at the worst times of my recovery. Things will get better and brighter I promise. Just keep plodding on :)

Sending love and praying for you

Best wishes

Alexandra Hill

So sorry to hear how you’re feeling but do know it will get better. As others have said it does take time but you will feel like yourself again. I also worried about going back to work but it turned out after 15 months it was the best thing for me to help get my confidence back. I also was referred to CBT which really helped to voice my concerns about my feeling of not being connected to my baby and general anxiety and depression I was experiencing and taught me to reframe my thinking. I agree 2.5mg is what I went down to when I was about to come off medication so it does seem quite low if you’re still suffering symptoms perhaps ask what might help with this. I also found exercise very helpful to improve my mood. You will get there and always ask for help if you’re ever struggling.

Hi Marban

OK so I really empathise with you. I was put on a dose of 17.5 mg initially and got off olanzapine after 6 months. I experienced all the side effects you describe. Low mood, emotional numbness, low motivation, difficulty connecting with people, difficulty feeling any excitement. It was horrible. And unfortunately those effects didn't go away immediately after I stopped taking olanzapine. It was a very gradual recovery back to feeling normal for me. I'm talking 3 years to get back to 100 pc. I guess for you it will take less time because your initial dose was much lower than mine. Just want to let u know that you will eventually come back to your old self, even if it doesn't happen overnight. But it's worth the wait. It's hard in the meantime but you'll get thru it. Take as much support as you can find in the meantime and try mind yourself as best you can.

Lilybeth profile image

Hello MarBan

Congratulations on the birth of your baby! So pleased you have reached out to the forum where you have already received the warmth of other mums here sharing their experiences. You are not alone!

When PP hits I don’t think we realise how much of our inner strength it will take to recover. I am so sorry to hear about your experience. I was also under mixed general psychiatric care but there were no MBUs at that time. The delusions and hallucinations were all very real and frightening as well as intrusive thoughts.

It’s not easy coping with routine, medication and a newborn, so please don’t be hard on yourself. You really are a great mum slowly emerging from such an awful illness, so it will take time to find your place again but you will get there.

As well as the resource already mentioned there is also “PP Soup” - a nourishing mix of all things Postpartum Psychosis at put together by a mum who suffered PP with input from other mums and professionals, which might be reassuring and helpful.

I can understand your worry about returning to work. Do you have an Occupational Health department at work? Perhaps it might be an idea to contact them to discuss alternative working arrangements? Is it possible to do the communication aspect of your job at home? After weighing it all up ... if it’s too much, especially driving, I think you could ask your GP for a note?

These days it’s ok not to be ok so please reach out for the professional support you need and deserve. You could ask your care team or GP to review your medication and talk openly so that the right help is found for you?

Welcome to this unique brilliant band of mothers 😊 We are always here to listen. Be very proud of yourself and take care.

postpartum psychosis is often followed by depression and feeling flat you just have to get through the low as best you can and know this won't last forever you will feel happy again . The olanzapine may not help your mood but they will probably wean you off that , the late Dr Katherina Dalton wrote groundbreaking books on postpartum psychosis which are well worth a read and are available online

Lilybeth profile image

Hello MarBan

I hope the shared experiences and links here were helpful. Just wondering if you have had professional support for how you were feeling? Also whether you have been able to talk with your employer about perhaps a gradual return to work in August? Thinking of you .... stay safe.

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